Jays' GM search may go through Cleveland
CLEVELAND -- The Indians were surprised when Alex Anthopoulos declined a five-year contract offer to return as the general manager of the Blue Jays on Thursday. Now, Toronto's search for a new GM could involve members of Cleveland's front office.
Former Indians team president Mark Shapiro, who is assuming the same role north of the border with the Blue Jays, might look to his former team in order to fill the sudden vacancy. Should Shapiro go that route, a source with knowledge of the situation said the Indians will not stand in the way if one of their front-office members is in line for a promotion.
Two top candidates within the Tribe's front office include vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins and assistant general manager Derek Falvey. Both men are key parts of the front-office structure under Chris Antonetti, who was elevated from GM to the role of president of baseball operations earlier this month.
Mike Chernoff, who was recently promoted to general manager after serving as Antonetti's assistant GM for the past several seasons, would also be a strong candidate. But the new title for Chernoff would make Toronto's GM vacancy a lateral move, rather than a promotion.
Atkins, 42, has been in the Indians' organization for the past 15 years and just finished his first season as the team's vice president of player personnel. Prior to that role, Atkins was Cleveland's vice president of player development from 2011-14 and the team's director of player development from '07-10. He was the director of Latin American Operations from '04-06 and the assistant director of player development from '01-03, when John Farrell was the Tribe's farm director.
Falvey, 32, has been with the Indians for the past eight years, working as the director of baseball operations prior to his shift to assistant GM this offseason. Falvey has worked closely with manager Terry Francona and the Major League coaching staff, while also working with the team's professional scouts. In his role, Falvey has specialized in analytics, along with finances and contracts.